International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

Report on Joint Field Research in Türkiye and Georgia 13–23 October 2023

Report on Study Groups on Music and Dance in Southeastern Europe & Ethnochoreology Sub-Study Group on Music and Dance in the Black Sea Cultural Basin& Sub-Study Group on Field Research Theory and Methods, Joint Field Research in Türkiye and Georgia October 13 – 23. 2023, by Mehmet Öcal ÖZBİLGİN & Izumi FAIRBANKS.

This fieldwork was organized by ICTM Türkiye (Mehmet Öcal ÖZBİLGİN – National Organizer, Abdullah AKAT – Local Organizer, İdris Ersan KÜÇÜK – Secretary), and there were 11 participants from 6 different countries.

Although there have been many ethnic and cultural layers and intersections across different regions of the Black Sea, there have been relatively few studies until today in the field of music and dance. Therefore, we decided to explore new studies with the idea of discovering different perspectives on the links from the past of the Black Sea cultural basin. 7 ethnomusicologists and 4 ethnochoreolgists joined the team and that allowed us re-think the music and dance in the Black Sea Cultural basin together.

The ICTM Sub-Study Group on Music and Dance in the Black Sea Cultural Basin (of the Study Group on Music and Dance in Southeastern Europe) and Sub-Study Group on Field Research Theory and Methods (of the Study Group on Ethnochoreology), had fieldwork in Turkey and Georgia, with the financial support of local municipalities. The Eastern Black Sea region comprises a natural environment with dance and music traditions.  Additionally, educational foundations have an important role in the surviving dance and music traditions. As it was autumn the research with local musicians and dancers was undertaken indoors in educational foundations rather than in natural environments.

The research had three main themes with two different purposes: the ethnography of local peoples in the Eastern Black Sea region; and the study and documentation of village music/dance repertoire.

Field research was conducted in 2 countries, 4 cities (Trabzon, Rize, Artvin, Batumi), 10 towns (Görele, Tonya, Sürmene, Maçka, Pazar, Çamlihemşin, Fındıklı, Borçka, Kemalpaşa, Sarp) and 14 villages. Interviews were held with 39 dance resource persons, 34 music resource persons and 5 instrument makers about local dances and music. More than 20 dances with different variations were compiled and recorded from approximately 100 dancers. Monophonic and polyphonic traditional songs were compiled from resource persons. Interviews were held about the production and playing techniques of drums, zurna, kaval, accordion, kemençe and tulum instruments. Dance music, entertainment music, laments, etc. local music playing and singing in different local environments was recorded.